Beef Magazine is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Articles from 2010 In January


Angus Genetics Inc.® Announces First Genomic-enhanced EPDs from High Density 50K Whole Genome Scan

AGI, IGENITY®, University of Missouri and Iowa State University partnership provides best value for Angus producers.

SAINT JOSEPH, MO. — January 28, 2010 — Angus Genetics Inc.® (AGI) announces the introduction of the first genomic-enhanced expected progeny differences (GE-EPDs) derived from a High Density Whole Genome Scan with 50,000 markers (HD WGS). This milestone in genetic advancement is a direct result of the collaboration between AGI, a subsidiary of the American Angus Association® (AAA); the University of Missouri; Iowa State University; and IGENITY®, a division of Merial.

The high-accuracy GE-EPDs are powered by the new high-accuracy IGENITY profile for Angus that includes 14 economically important traits derived from the 50,000-marker HD WGS. Today, the high-accuracy IGENITY profile for Angus is the only genomic test available that provides GE-EPDs for young animals, resulting in significantly improved accuracies for Angus EPDs.

The IGENITY profile for Angus is the only DNA profile used by AGI in the formulation of GE-EPDs. And the AGI/Merial partnership is the beef industry’s only source for marker-assisted EPDs.

“Individual Angus producers who are interested in making rapid genetic advancement through the use of DNA technology should use the IGENITY profile for Angus,” says Bill Bowman, AGI president. “This is the industry’s only DNA profile used by AGI and the American Angus Association in the formulation of GE-EPDs. We are excited about this development because it will continue to give Angus breeders and IGENITY customers a significant advantage in the marketplace today.”

Last summer, AGI and IGENITY entered into an agreement to provide American Angus Association members with GE-EPDs. The partnership marks the first time in the industry’s history that beef producers have access to GE-EPDs for multiple traits at once — and all derived from a breed-specific Angus profile. The introduction of HD WGS is the partnership’s most recent — and perhaps most innovative — development for the industry.

”Our partnership with IGENITY will continue to greatly benefit Angus producers of all herd sizes. Producers can be confident the high-accuracy IGENITY profile will help to improve their selection decisions, to indicate the genetic merit of their animals, and to increase the accuracy of EPDs,” Bowman says. “Through AGI and IGENITY’s common vision to provide the most advanced solutions to beef producers’ genetic selection and management needs, we will continue to bring advancements like the high-accuracy IGENITY profile to the marketplace.”

“The new high-accuracy IGENITY profile is more than just an HD WGS,” says Dr. Stewart Bauck, IGENITY executive director of research and development. “Using advanced techniques, the research and development team at IGENITY worked with Dr. Jerry Taylor at the University of Missouri and Dr. Dorian Garrick at Iowa State University to identify and combine the most powerful candidate gene markers and HD WGS 50,000 markers to create the most comprehensive and cost-effective product for Angus cattle on the market. Further, the high-accuracy IGENITY profile for Angus was developed specifically for Angus cattle, which makes it more predictive of Angus performance than a product developed across several breeds.”

“The high-accuracy IGENITY profile for Angus has been thoroughly researched and third-party validated, which — together with its incorporation into genetic evaluation — makes it one of the most important advances in beef cattle breeding in the marketplace today,” Dr. Bauck says.

The product’s initial results caused high interest in both the academic community and the beef industry when presented at the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation annual convention. “The entire industry has been waiting for this breakthrough,” says Dr. Taylor.

“One of the benefits of GE-EPDs derived from the HD WGS and causal gene markers is the dramatic increase in accuracy, which helps take the risk out of selection decisions for both commercial cow-calf and seedstock producers,” says Dr. Taylor. “Further, the GE-EPDs are easy to use because they combine the high-accuracy IGENITY profile results with traditional AAA EPDs that producers are familiar with using.”

“The increase in accuracy from incorporating the high-accuracy IGENITY profile for Angus is equivalent to adding about 16 progeny to a weanling bull’s marbling EPD.1 For young bulls with ultrasound, incorporating the IGENITY profile is comparable to adding an additional 12 progeny on top of ultrasound data,” says Dr. Taylor. “This can dramatically shorten generation intervals, allowing producers using Angus seedstock to make faster genetic progress.”

“Less risk and faster genetic progress — the high-accuracy IGENITY profile is an incredible value for beef producers,” says Dr. Taylor.

Through the comprehensive DNA offering from IGENITY, Angus producers can receive analyses on 14 economically important traits, including the most comprehensive list of GE-EPDs:

• Marbling • Percent choice (quality grade) • Docility

• Ribeye area • Yield grade • Average daily gain

• Fat thickness • Heifer pregnancy • Feed efficiency

• Carcass weight • Stayability (longevity) • Yearling weight

• Tenderness • Maternal calving ease

Plus the option to test for coat color, NH and AM in the same sample.

For more information about IGENITY, contact your IGENITY sales representative, call (877) 443-6489 or visit For more information about high-accuracy, genomic-enhanced EPDs available from the American Angus Association, contact your Angus regional manager or call (816) 383-5100.

IGENITY is a division of Merial. Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see

Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI) is a division of the American Angus Association, with headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., which offers services to the more than 30,000 members of the American Angus Association and thousands of commercial cattle producers using Angus genetics across the United States. For more information about AGI or other Association programs, visit or call (816) 383-5100.


Boehringer Ingelheim Joins Forces with NCBA as New Top Hand Club Sponsor

Membership Drive with Incentives Now Underway

SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 28, 2010) – Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical group of companies, has joined forces with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to support a robust 2010 membership campaign featuring Cydectin ® Pour-on as a recruitment incentive. Boehringer Ingelheim’s role was announced during the annual cattle industry convention, being held here Jan. 27-30.

Through its U.S. animal health business, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., Boehringer now sponsors NCBA’s Top Hand Club, one of the association’s oldest and most popular membership programs.

During the five - month recruitment drive, which is open to all NCBA members, Boehringer will send qualifying participants at least one bottle of Cydectin® Pour-On, which is a $60 value.

How the Program Works

• Individuals who recruit one NCBA member at the national level will receive 1 bottle of Cydectin® Pour-On

• Those who sign individuals to both a state affiliate and NCBA national membership will receive 2 bottles

• Recruiters who sign reinstated (dropped out for 3 months or more) NCBA members will receive 1 bottle

During the membership drive, which continues through May 31, 2010, (or while supplies last), Boehringer will ship the Cydectin® bottles directly to eligible recruiters.

For more information about the Top Hand Club or this membership drive, contact 1-866-233-3872/866-BEEF-USA or visit [email protected]


Don’t Lose Another Penny to Parasites

Spring parasite treatments have proven returns for cow/calf producers1-4

DULUTH, GA — Jan. 18, 2010 — Cow/calf producers could be losing potential performance and returns if they are not treating cattle for parasites in the spring. But Dr. Frank Hurtig, director, Merial Veterinary Services, says producers can easily stop parasites from feeding on their bottom line.

“By treating cattle for parasites in the spring with a product they can trust such as an IVOMEC® (ivermectin, eprinomectin) Brand Product, cow/calf producers can make the most out of the spring and summer grazing seasons,” he says. “Even if parasite levels are low, or cattle are not showing clinical signs of parasite infections, losses are still possible — even probable.”

Internal parasites cause a decrease in nutritional absorption and digestion.4 Parasites such as the most economically important worm, the brown stomach worm, can suppress the animal’s appetite.5 Therefore, an animal carrying even a subclinical parasite infection is expected to perform more efficiently after parasites are removed.4 Dr. Hurtig says this is especially true for spring-calving cows.

“Cows have the greatest nutritional requirements for the first three to four months postpartum, which unfortunately coincides with the time they are expected to rebreed to stay on a yearly calving schedule,”4 Dr. Hurtig says. “Producers can’t afford to let their cows try and support a calf while the parasite load is taking its toll at the same time they are trying to prepare for breeding season. In this tug-of-war, the parasites will nearly always steal profits.”

In fact, research has shown that parasite control with an IVOMEC Brand Product prior to breeding can increase conception rates up to 5 percent.4

“A 5 percent increase in conception rate is significant when we consider that the cost of an open cow is more than $400 per year6 and a calf conceived on the first day of a 60-day breeding season will be worth $108 more than one conceived on the last day,”7 Dr. Hurtig says.

Studies going back 25 years have shown a statistically significant increase in weaning weights when cows and calves were treated for parasites in the spring with an IVOMEC Brand Product.1-3 Dr. Mike Hildreth, parasitologist and professor, South Dakota State University, conducted research that showed similar results.8,9 He says the weight advantage found was despite the fact that these cattle had very low parasite infection levels.

“The research was conducted in herds in the central part of South Dakota, where we expect to find fairly low worm burdens,” he says. “On average, the parasite-infected calves were losing 10 to 15 pounds per every 100 days on summer pasture.8,9 And, these losses were occurring when egg counts were low, an average of 35 eggs per gram.8,9 If we saw this in areas where parasite levels are low, we would expect to see this same effect, or an even greater one, anywhere else.”

Dr. Hurtig says producers can’t bank on low parasite loads on pastures or harsh winters to help protect their cattle from parasites.

“Even in cold Northern climates, parasites survive winter both in cows and in the pasture,” he explains. “Parasites survive cold winters by working their way into the soil where temperatures remain higher than air temperatures.10 And a protective blanket of snow can actually help preserve larvae through winter.”11

A two-week Oregon study showed that parasite-naïve calves turned out on contaminated pastures during freezing temperatures in winter picked up more than 200,000 worms.12

Dr. Hurtig says that in warmer Southern climates, it is even more important that producers consider a parasite treatment in the spring. The best solution, he says, is that all producers, regardless of geography, talk with their veterinarian about incorporating a spring treatment with an IVOMEC Brand Product into their year-long parasite control program.

“Treating with an IVOMEC Brand Product at spring turnout helps kill parasites in cows and continues to protect against new infections for the length of time the product is effective against each parasite,” Dr. Hurtig says. “This is especially important when we consider that relatively few — only 5 percent to 10 percent — of parasites present are actually inside cattle at any given time. The remaining 90 percent to 95 percent are on pastures.”13

Drench-type or white dewormers are only effective the day of treatment and not against inhibited Ostertagia at the normal dose.14 Conventional endectocides, such as IVOMEC Brand Products, are effective for 14 to 28 days, depending on the parasite and product used,14 which means they control parasites in the animal at the time of treatment and those picked up from spring pasture.

Parasite control in cow herds hads been shown to have the greatest effect on breakeven prices — providing a value of $201 per head.15 This effect was derived using only weaning rates and weaning weights.13 Dr. Hurtig says producers can help get their share of this return, and help stop losses from parasites, by simply starting with a spring parasite control treatment.

“Reproductive efficiency and weaning weights are two key factors to cow/calf producers’ profitability,” he says. “Adding a spring parasite control treatment with an IVOMEC Brand Product can help producers stop parasites from eating away at cattle performance and profits.”

Only Merial offers four proven formulations of IVOMEC Brand Products. All IVOMEC Brand Products are backed by a 100% Product Satisfaction Guarantee. For more information, producers should contact their local Merial sales representative or visit

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see


IVOMEC® (ivermectin) Challenge Extended For 2010

Producers guaranteed to recoup their spring parasite control investment

DULUTH, GA — Jan. 27, 2010 — Producers have nothing to lose and everything to gain when they use IVOMEC® (ivermectin) Brand Products for spring parasite control. Merial is once again inviting producers to take the IVOMEC Challenge — giving them a risk-free way to prove that spring parasite control pays.

“Spring parasite treatments in cow/calf herds have been proven to increase weaning weights and reproductive performance,”1-4 says Dr. Frank Hurtig, director, Merial Veterinary Services. “But, if producers still aren’t convinced, the IVOMEC Challenge gives them a risk-free opportunity to see the benefits of a spring parasite treatment for themselves. Merial will shoulder any risk, and producers are guaranteed the reward.”

To participate, producers simply need to use any IVOMEC Brand Product on both their cows and spring-born calves in the spring. Then, at weaning, weigh the calves. If the improved 205-day adjusted weight versus 2009 does not cover the purchase price of the IVOMEC Brand Product used in the spring, Merial will provide an equal amount of doses of any IVOMEC Brand Product for fall.

Dr. Hurtig says the benefits of a spring parasite treatment are proven in a quarter century of research. Studies going back 25 years have shown a statistically significant increase in weaning weights when cows and calves were treated for parasites in the spring with IVOMEC Brand Products.1-3

“That gain alone is guaranteed to cover the cost of using an IVOMEC Brand Product in the spring,” Dr. Hurtig says. “But the benefits of a spring parasite treatment don’t stop there.”

In fact, a study has shown that parasite control with an IVOMEC Brand Product prior to breeding can increase conception rates up to 5 percent.4

“A 5 percent increase in conception rate can mean significant returns in several ways,” Dr. Hurtig says. “The cost of an open cow is almost $400 per year5 and a calf conceived on the first day of a 60-day breeding season will be worth $108 more than one conceived on the last day,6 both of which can be directly affected by improving conception rate in the spring.”

Spring treatments with IVOMEC Brand Products help clean up parasites in cattle and reduce pasture contamination.

“An astounding 90 percent to 95 percent of parasites in the system are found on pastures at any given time,7,8 waiting for an opportunity to infect cows and calves,” Dr. Hurtig says.

Frozen Northern pastures are no exception, he adds. Parasites do survive on pastures throughout the winter7 and research has shown they can even continue to be transmitted despite freezing temperatures.9

“Spring treatments with IVOMEC Brand Products clear cattle of parasites at treatment,” Dr. Hurtig says. “Depending on the parasite and product used, they keep working for 14 to 28 days following application.”10

However, not all products are as effective. Drench-type or white dewormers are only effective against a limited spectrum of parasites, and only for the day of treatment.10 This means that, at most, white dewormers only impact the 5 percent to 10 percent of parasites that are in the overall system.

“There are a lot of variables that can rob producers of production and profits,” Dr. Hurtig says. “But between the proven results of spring parasite treatment and the promise of the IVOMEC Challenge, we can guarantee this is one input producers won’t lose money on.”

Only Merial offers the IVOMEC Challenge with all four proven formulations of IVOMEC Brand Products. All IVOMEC Brand Products also are backed by a 100% Product Satisfaction Guarantee. For more information, producers should contact their local Merial sales representative or visit

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see


Genex Beef Sires Now Available in GenChoice™

SHAWANO, Wis. - Genex Cooperative, Inc. provides beef producers profitable choices for creating the desired sex ratio in their calf crop.

“It is exciting to announce the addition of over 20 beef bulls to the GenChoice sexed semen product line,” states Doug Wilson, Genex Chief Operating Officer. “GenChoice provides our beef members with more options. Members can utilize GenChoice to greatly influence genetic gains in their females or utilize male-sorted semen to maximize profits when replacements are not desired.”

The GenChoice sexed semen product line is available in GenChoice 90™ and GenChoice 75™ with the options of male- or female-sorted semen. GenChoice 90, expected to produce 90 percent of the desired sex ratio, is the ideal choice to maximize the desired gender from a specific mating. GenChoice 75, expected to produce 75 percent of the desired sex ratio, offers producers a gendersorted product at a more affordable price.

“Genex has responded to the desires of the marketplace by offering breed-leading sires in a sexed product,” notes Wilson. “To maximize their profits, today’s cattlemen need to use every technology available to them and GenChoice is clearly one such choice.” GenChoice 75 and GenChoice 90 are available in all five major beef breeds – Angus, Red Angus, Simmental, Charolais and Hereford. For a complete listing of sires and availability, visit the Genex Web site, call customer service at 888-333-1783 or contact your local Genex representative.

GenChoice 75 and GenChoice 90 sexed semen products are produced by Sexing Technologies using the same technology and sorting process. Fertility is expected to be similar between both GenChoice options. Genex is a subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International (CRI). CRI, a member-owned holding cooperative, is comprised of three subsidiaries: Central Livestock Association, AgSource Cooperative Services and Genex. The CRI Mission Statement summarizes the goal of CRI: "To provide products and services as effectively as possible to maximize the profitability of members and customers worldwide while maintaining a strong cooperative."



3-Year Cutterbar Protection Now On New Vermeer Mowers

Vermeer Corporation is now providing 3-year cutterbar warranty protection – including parts and labor – for their complete line of mowers and mower-conditioners. The limited warranty, which goes into effect immediately, covers cutterbar and internal components on all new Vermeer models sold, starting with machines built in 2009 (in which 10th VIN digit is a 9). The warranty also applies to original and subsequent owners.

“This newer robust cutterbar design has performed extremely well since we first introduced it, says Phil Chrisman, product manager. And now, based on several years of experience in the field, we’re very confident in its reliability going forward,” Chrisman added. According to Chrisman, conditions, exclusions, and limitations for the new extended coverage are basically the same as those that apply in the Standard Limited Warranty and they are

based on operating and maintaining the equipment in accordance with directions and instructions set forth in the Operator’s Manual. For specific information please refer to the limited warranty rider.

Vermeer Corporation manufactures a complete line of hay tools including round balers, mowers, mower/conditioners, rakes, tedders, bale processors and silage wrappers; plus biomass harvesting equipment used for renewable energy and reclamation; and a wide assortment of industrial products for tree, construction, environmental and underground utility service work. For more information on Vermeer Agricultural equipment, log into the Vermeer Ag

website at


Serving the Cattleman

Who We Are:

Angus Communications was founded by a group of progressive, active breeders

who want to provide, support and educate breeders both in the Seedstock and

Commercial sectors on current issues within the Angus Breed. Visit our Web

site for updates, issues, topics and other

breeder comments

Our Goals:

Protect breed purity

Promote integrity and trust among and/or between seedstock producers and the

commercial cowman

Protect and maintain family values

Propigate a plan of care to address the moving targets within the beef industry

Our Plan of Action:

E – Education

P - Participation

D – Direction

Voice Your Opinion

Join us online to comment on issues and topics that influence your future as

Angus producers, Angus members and commercial cattlemen.

Beef Industry Embraces Online Social Media Tools

amby-workshop.jpg It seems the major theme at the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio, TX is the growing importance for the beef cattle industry to embrace online social media tools to share the agriculture story with consumers. Finally, agriculture is recognizing that the discussion on the future of agriculture is being told by folks who want to eliminate it, and it's time we start balancing out the scales and leading the discussion ourselves.

Yet, I would venture to guess that the idea of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube is generally an overwhelming concept for many producers used to hearing the news from traditional outlets; however, there is a growing wave of cattlemen taking advantage of these online tools to communicate stories about food producers. One of the groups taking the bull by the horns in online agriculture advocacy is the National Beef Ambassadors, an excited group of young people ready to be champions for the cause on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers.

I had the opportunity to work with the ambassadors yesterday morning to equip them with the skills they need to be effective spokespersons for all beef producers online. (Pictured LR: Amanda Nolz, Ellen Hoffschneider, Jackson Alexander, Malorie Bankhead, Mandy-Jo Laurent and Rebecca Vraspir) After the session, they are excited and ready to spread the positive news about beef and cattle production. You can follow their blog, check out their Twitter accounts and become a fan of the program on Facebook. If any of these sites are overwhelming to you, I thought today would be a great opportunity to open the floor. What questions do you have about online social media tools? What advice can you offer to others in getting online and sharing our story?

Winter Environment and Nutrition

Cold temperatures, wind chill, snow, freezing rain, and mud are all terms that come up at some point in describing our winter weather here in Ohio. The cattleman needs to pay attention to the terms because they play a role in determining the nutrient requirement of cattle. Specifically these conditions increase the energy requirement of cattle, can reduce the efficiency of utilization of dietary energy, can decrease voluntary intake, and can change cattle behavior.

As temperature falls below a critical level, the cow must increase energy intake to maintain body temperature and basic body maintenance functions. Cattle have a comfort zone of 59 to 77 degrees F that is considered optimum for body maintenance, animal performance and health. At temperatures lower than the comfort zone, that is, below 59 degrees F, the animal can make use of a thickening hair coat and heat from normal tissue metabolism and rumen fermentation to conserve body heat without any increase in energy intake requirements. This is known as the thermoneutral zone. The lower boundary of this zone is referred to as the lower critical temperature (LCT). Below the LCT, animal metabolism must increase to provide adequate heat to maintain body temperature. This can be accomplished through increased energy intake. The general rule of thumb is that energy intake must increase by 1% for each degree of cold below the LCT.

To read the entire article, link here.